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The video game convention that is E3 has come and gone, and despite a relatively scant showing of iOS games, at least compared to the deluge of console titles, there were still some great and noteworthy iOS games announced at this year's game conference. We've rounded up some of the best iOS titles unveiled during this years huge show, so read on after the break to find out what's in store for iOS gamers in the months to come.
Apple's WWDC 2014 brought a new version of iOS 8 but no new hardware. However, developers are talking about resizeable iPhone screens in the simulator. But that could refer to a "split-screen" feature, as seen on some Microsoft Windows 8 and Android devices. This feature would make it easier to copy and paste from one app to another, or just to view multiple apps simultaneously. Still, all signs point to larger screens (4.7-inch and even 5.5-inch) in the works, if only to keep up with the Android "phablet" trend.
As I sit here twiddling my thumbs waiting for some kind of last minute, major iOS game announcements from the giant video game convention that is E3, I've had a lot of time to reflect on what this biggest of video game showcases means to dedicated and enthusiastic iOS gamers. E3 has yet to become the primary forum for iOS games to make their grand debuts, though I anticipate this changing as more hardcore games make their way to iOS. But will iOS games ever carry enough hype to steal the show at major gaming events like the annual Game Developers Conference or E3.
Holy moly, I forgot how hard math can be! I really feel for our youth who every year have to gear up for entrance, mid-terms, and final exams. If I had not known a math wiz who helped me extensively with my homework, I would not have made it through algebra, geometry, or trig, and I now only have a fuzzy idea of the rules (like the Pythagorean Theorem required to solve the above). I figured by now, one could use Siri to answer math questions, or at least the mega awesome MyScript calculator app (free). NOTE: Please do not try to use Siri or your iPhone/iPad during an exam, unless explicitly told you are allowed to do so by an authorized test administrator. If you are one of the unlucky few who are grinding through trig problems (or verb conjugation) these beautiful spring and early summer days, check out Play2Prep (free). It is designed to make getting ready for your next major exam fun and engaging. Mostly I found it to be quite ridiculously hard...but yeah, in a fun way I guess!
So I have a news reader app on my iPad called Pulse (free), which has lived there for years. It is among the best news apps I have found (though the recent LinkedIn version is garnering complaints), and I say humph. What more do I need? Enter Reverb and the latest Pearltrees 2.0 (both free). Reverb is not a bourgeois news app that spews AP wire content to elite techno-snobs. It shakes things up by dumping material from a cornucopia of sources into each news topic. Though it can be a bit discomfiting, it's mostly just darn refreshing! While Reverb helps one find interesting content on a particular topic, Pearltrees helps you to collect, and even create your own! These two freebies will take you down many enjoyable or even daring roads on the interwebs, which is the point of the journey, yes?
Epic Games' Tim Sweeney took the stage at WWDC as once again his company's technology was prominently featured at the Apple media event. This time however, instead of swinging swords as Infinity Blade's tragic hero Siris, the team behind the best selling Infinity Blade series was there to show off the capabilities of iOS 8's new level of gaming software called Metal.
WWDC's keynote with Tim Cook and company has come and gone, and what is striking is not what was announced, but what was not announced. A new version of Mac OS and iOS is always to be expected at WWDC. WWDC is when and where developers go to learn direct from the source. I've attended a few times and it's been a great way to learn about new frameworks and tools. It's a no brainer that Apple would use that venue to reveal the next generation of their mobile and computer-based operating systems. But Apple usually has one or two hardware announcements at WWDC. With a captive audience of 5,000-plus Apple computer owners, plus countless more watching the live stream, it's a great opportunity to sell hardware. Maybe not a new phone but usually there is a refreshed or all new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, or the Mac Pro or Mac mini. Last year it was the dramatically redesigned cylindrical Mac Pro. Before that it was the MacBook Pro Retina. After all, in a crowded room, it's likely that someone is celebrating a birthday that week. So, with such a broad product line from Apple, there is always some device ready to be updated.
Apple is an American success story. And 'merica is all about freedom. Free Speech. Free Press. Freedom of Religion. Even Freedom Fries. Lately, that includes the freedom to smoke marijuana in a few states. Mind you, drugs have never been for me, nor are games that glorify drug dealing, but they exist and give people a (vicarious?) glimpse into the underworld that is the illegal narcotics business. Breaking Bad made a ton of legitimate money off illegitimate activities. Likewise for The Sopranos or The Godfather. I love those movies and TV shows, and would hate to have had some censor decide not to let me watch them.
As much as I love Apple, I like what Microsoft is trying to do. But, heaven help me, I can't stand their commercials. "Honestly" starts each actor's fake testimonial. As if it wasn't obvious that these are primarily actors (except Seattle Seahawks player Russell Wilson) reading someone else's lines, by using the same words and format, Microsoft is being phony from the beginning in commercials that start and end with the word "Honestly." It insults the intelligence of the audience. Not to mention the valid charges of sexism. Interestingly, when searching using Yahoo (powered by Microsoft's Bing) none of the negative articles about the commercials show up, but under Google, they do. Whose search engine is being honest, now?
I love video games, which is convenient since I play a lot of them as I research my Game Centered column. Typically Game Centered focuses on breaking iOS-related game news and new releases, but in this special edition I'm going retro, with a Top 5 roundup of some of my old favorite iOS games. The following are enduring classics which still occupy precious space on my iDevices, and in my gamer’s heart.
Best iPhone Apps, iPad Apps, iPod Touch Apps | iPhone Life Magazine
We review the Best iPhone Apps, iPad Apps, and iPod Touch Apps. Whether you want to play a game (like Chillingham Manor), navigate with GPS, or discover new apps, you can easily get lost. There are so many on the market and the number is increasing on a daily basis. So where to begin? The following examples are just a few of what is out there.
The Head Finder is one of the iPhone apps around. It is a task management or schedule management that helps you organize all the different things you have to do. It has a very simple user interface and it seems they designed all the most common functions to be done with as little tapping and typing as possible which is a real time saver. Several time management apps, in the past, have seemed to waste more time entering events and tasks into the app than you might save by being more organized. With Head Finder you can have a new task entered in less than thirty seconds with their quick three tap process to create a reminder.
Another one of the best Iphone apps we've seen is The JumiCam. This app allows you to view streaming video from any web cam you want with ease. It's easy to set up the software on your PC and then connect your phone to see what's going on at your house. The JumiCam also works very well on either a 3G connection or WiFi. This app allows you to connect to as many different web cams as you want so you can monitor your entire house while you're away if you want. It can really take the place of an entire security service if you wanted it to. There are many ways to use this, from keeping an eye on a babysitter while you're out on a date to making sure your pet is safe at home while you're at work.
As the name describes, U.S. Traveller is made for travelers that call the United States their home and travel to countries outside their own. In opening the iPhone app, on the "Countries" tab, you are presented with a list of countries & their correlating flags. The added flags next to the country names are a nice touch, especially since most people can quickly find a country based on visual representation versus textual representation. You can travel from the U.S. to numerous countries - Chile, Argentina, Germany & Italy to name a few. This may not adequately prepare you for the countries you visit, but this will for sure help you. The amount of information and the ease of access it gives to people is incredibly invaluable.